The Illuminae Files have been with me for only a short while, but it’s tough to think of any other time where a series ending felt so deserved of praise. Even the best series seem to fizzle out by the final book. Not Obsidio, though. Somehow it’s even better than the first two.
Warning: This review will have major spoilers for Illuminae and Gemina.
The files take us back to Kerenza IV, where we read about Kady’s cousin Asha, and Asha’s long ago ex Rhys. We also read about Kady, Ezra, Hanna, Nik & company and the struggles they face while heading back to Kerenza IV.
Without revealing spoiler-y details, here are two facts about Obsidio:
1. At least once, you will audibly gasp in horror.
2. At least twice, you will throw your book against something while cussing, or whatever you say when angry.
Yes…it’s that kind of book. Even moreso than the first two. And it’s amazing.
Obsidio brings our cast of characters all together, with a few new people in the mix…all without feeling overstuffed. It brings action and intrigue and a lot of the shock factor. It quietly closes out our many plot questions, like the identity of the video analysts. It’s also very, very tricky. Pay close attention to everything, and you might not fall for every deception thrown your way.
This series has always teetered back and forth on an ethical debate: can BeiTech justify their actions as ethical because Kerenza IV, by all purposes, contained an illegal, “criminal” operation? The readers, of course, know the answer is no. After all, why we would we invest in this story if we thought yes? Beyond that easier answer, however, this series has more uneasy, unanswered ethical questions. And that, truly, is the draw to this series. You come for the sci-fi escapades. You stay for the deeper evaluation of the purpose and gravitas of life.
If you haven’t picked up Illuminae yet, you need to. It’s one of the strongest series I’ve ever read from beginning to end, and also one of the most unique. (Three books in, and there is still something special about the writing style of the series.) You’re missing out if you don’t give it a chance.